John Clay Wood

John Clay Wood, a well-known and enterprising general insurance agent at Wilkinson, this county, is a native son of Hancock county and has lived here all his life. He was born in the city of Greenfield on October 30, 1873, son of William Spencer and Martha Ann (Garriott) Wood, the former a Virginian and the latter a native of this county, prominent and influential residents of that city.

William Spencer Wood was born in Randolph county, Virginia (now Barbour county, West Virginia), September 26, 1838, and was reared on a farm in that county, remaining there until he came with his parents and their eight other children to Indiana in 1860, the family arriving in Hancock county on September 30 of that year. On April 7, 1864, William S. Wood was united in marriage to Martha Ann Garriott, of Warrington, this county, who was born in that neighborhood, May 13, 1844, eldest daughter of the Hon. William Lair Garriott, and a year later engaged in the grocery business at Greenfield, where he was thus engaged until 1868, in which year he formed a partnership with Matthew L. Paulus in the general hardware and agricultural implement business. Presently he bought his partner's interest in that business and conducted the same alone until he sold it on July 15, 1874. On January 4, 1875, he became one of the incorporators of the Citizens Bank of Greenfield and was elected vice-president and a member of the board of directors of the same. William S. Wood died on September 30, 1875. He and wife were the parents of four children, namely: John Clay, Olive Frances, Sarah and one who died in infancy. Mrs. Martha Ann Wood was married a second time and in the early eighties she moved with her family to a farm near Cleveland, where she died on October 25, 1884. To her second union was born one child, a daughter, who is now Mrs. Frank Gibbs, of Greenfield.

William S. Wood was reared a member of the Missionary Baptist church, but later became a member of the Christian church, with which his wife was affiliated. He was a Mason and an Odd Fellow and was one of the charter members of Eureka Lodge No. 20, Knights of Pythias, at Greenfield, instituted in 1872, and was the first chancellor commander of the lodge. In 1874 he was elected grand vice chancellor of the grand lodge of Indiana, Knights of Pythias, and took a very active part in Pythian affairs.

John C. Wood was nine years old when his mother and step-father moved from Greenfield to the farm near Cleveland and he remained there until after his mother's death. He lived in various counties of Indiana until he entered the employ of the S. R. Wells Window Glass Company, with which he remained until 1901, in which year he became one of the number of employees of that firm that organized the Co-operative Glass Company of Wilkinson and established a glass factory on a site furnished by the town of Wilkinson, the town also providing free gas for the enterprise, and he has lived there ever since. In 1902 Mr. Wood engaged in the general insurance business at Wilkinson and has ever since been very successfully engaged in that business, writing practically all the insurance taken in that town. He is an independent voter in local elections, but on national issues votes with the Prohibition party. He and his wife are members of the Christian church and take an active interest in the various beneficences of the same, as well as in all local good works.

Mrs. Wood, who before her marriage, was Addie Pearl Kitley, was born on a farm in Marion county, this state, February 26, 1878, daughter and only child of John and Sarah A. (Willett) Kitley, the latter of whom was born in Hancock county on August 20, 1844, and to this union four children have been born, Willis Nile, Glenn Hearst, Charles A. and Martha Pearl. Mr. Wood is a past officer of the Amalgamated Window Glass Workers and is a member of the Masonic lodge, the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Knights and Ladies of Honor, the Improved Order of Red Men and of the Modern Woodmen of America, in the affairs of all of which organizations he takes a warm interest.

Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Page 1097-1098.

Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI November 17, 2001.

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